Monday, August 24, 2015

The Chesleys +

by Arnie Fenner

The Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists presented the annual Chesley Awards August 20th during Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, WA. Without further ado, this year's honorees are:

Best Cover Illustration / Hardcover
Julie Dillon, Shadows Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology edited by Brandon Sanderson; Dragonsteel Entertainment, June 2014

Best Cover Illustration – Paperback
Raoul Vitale, Nebula Awards Showcase 2014 edited by Kij Johnson; Prometheus/Pyr

Best Cover Illustration – Magazine
Julie Dillon, Analog, April 2014

Best Interior Illustration
Anna Balbusso and Elena Balbusso, “Ekaterina and the Firebird” by Abra Staffin-Wiebe;, January 2014

Best Color Work – Unpublished
Michael C. Hayes, "Alegretto" [oils]

Best Monochrome Work – Unpublished
Allen Williams, “Sphynx” [graphite]

Best Three-Dimensional Art
Dan Chudzinski, "The Mudpuppy" [resin & mixed media]

Best Gaming Related Illustration
Peter Mohrbacher, "Pharika, God of Affliction" Magic card, Journey into Nyx; WotC, May 2014

Best Product Illustration
Donato Giancola, George R.R. Martin Song of Ice and Fire 2015 calendar Bantam, 2014

Best Art Director
Irene Gallo, Tor &

Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award
John Harris

And then there were the Hugo Awards presented by the membership of the World Science Fiction Convention.

Yesh. What a mess leading up to the ceremony May 22.

I'm not going to link to any of the numerous stories that have appeared over the months everywhere from NPR to the Huffington Post to The Atlantic to i09 and beyond; if you're curious just Google "Hugo Award Controversy" and prepare for a whole lotta...sadness. The innocent parties are not those on either side of the fisticuffs—regardless of whether their points were good or bad—who deliberately engaged in internet/social media name-calling, character assassinations, threatening and otherwise hurtful behavior. Rather, those deserving of sympathy are some of the nominees who were inadvertently caught in the middle of a (let's be honest) silly tug-of-war over SF's oldest award. What should have been a happy circumstance (a nomination) and a happy night (the Hugo ceremony) will now always have a negative asterisk in the listings.

Anyway, as a response to the controversy, "No Award" was presented in multiple categories—but not for the artists. The winner of the "Best Artist" Hugo this year was Julie Dillon (below left); the "Best Fan Artist" rocket went to Elizabeth Leggett (below right). You can find a complete list of this year's Hugo results here.

Will the Hugo fighting continue next year? I hope not. Maybe if everyone will take a step back and consider...

But tomorrow is another day so let's simply say to the Chesley and the Hugo honorees: Congratulations one & all!


  1. Some lovely artwork here, but the first examples seemed to have been spoiled by cropping and heavy ,unsympathetic texts/logos

    1. My thoughts exactly. The AD truly ruined that one.

  2. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well..

  3. I'm all for derivative work, for playing around with iconic images and presenting them in a fresh context, maybe producing art that's a continuation or expansion of an existing style — like variations on a theme ... but this can't even be called derivative.

  4. Hello there,Science fiction affected visual art has turned out to be so instilled in our culture that,not at all like different sorts of cover art, we may really be much more presented to it now.Consider visually shocking science-fiction movies or high fashion.We may very well need to live with the way that science fiction cover art has withdrawn itself from the text,diffusing so as to get by itself through our entire culture.That appears like a suitable destiny for a class so distracted with big ideas and radical change.Thank you.


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